Today I learned of Elouise Cobell (β€œYellow Bird Woman”) who founded the first Native American owned bank. As treasurer of the Blackfeet Nation she tried to resolve accounting discrepancies regarding leases on Indian Land which led to a $3.4 Billion dollar class action settlement against the US government. womenshistory.org/educati…
Today I learned about KauaΚ»i ʻōʻō, a now-extinct species of bird, endemic to the island of Kaua'i in Hawaii. The last individual ever was a male, and he was recorded singing a mating call, to a female that would never come. He died in 1987. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kau…
Today I learned of Dominomus, a female house sparrow that flew into a convention center in Netherlands and caused 23,000 of the dominos being prepared for β€œDomino Day 2005” to be knocked over. A hunting company hired to capture the bird failed, and finally just shot it, sparking an animal rights controversy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dom…
In a village in India, an Indian robin had made a nest and laid her eggs on the village's switchboard. The village decided to go without street lights for over a month for the safety of the bird and to allow her eggs to hatch. After 45 days, the bird and its hatchlings safely flew away. deccanherald.com/national…
Over 200 bird species including the Northern Cardinals, wild turkeys and Baltimore Orioles use a method of pest control called "anting." They take an ant in their beak and wipe their tail feathers in order to deter lice. The ants release formic acid that the birds utilize routinely. worldbirds.org/cardinal-b…
Argentina has the most pets per capita, with 80% of the population having a pet. Argentineans have the most dogs (66% of pet-owners), Russians have the most cats (57% of pet-owners), Turks have the most birds (20% of the population), and Chinese have the most fish (17% of the population) myanimals.com/animals/arg…
In 1859, a massive solar flare caused telegraph communications around the world to fail. Auroras glowed so bright in the night that birds chirped and people went to work believing it was sunrise. A similar event today could impact power grids, satellites, and GPS systems, costing $1-2 trillion. history.com/news/a-perfec…
Larry Bird was once bored so he played against the Portland Trailblazers with his left hand; he finished the game with 47 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. nba.com/news/week-history…
The famous image of musician Johnny Cash flipping the bird came about as a result of his frustration that a TV crew from the UK filming his performance in San Quentin prison were between him and the audience and wouldn't β€œclear the stage” upon him asking them to do so... wikipedia.org/wiki/At_San…
Over the past 50 years, there has been a decline of 3 billion birds across North America smithsonianmag.com/scienc…
Hummingbirds can fly backwards and upside down! They are the only birds who can do so because their wings differ from other types of birds. Their unique wings allow them to turn 180 degrees in all directions. perotmuseum.org/amazeyour…
White-tailed Eagles kept flying into moving turbine blades at the SmΓΈla wind farm in Norway. An experiment of painting a single blade black on each of two turbines compared to two unpainted turbines found that the bird deaths declined by 70%. audubon.org/news/can-pain…
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are able to fly across the Golf of Mexico, a distance of 500 miles, in one 20-hour non-stop flight. This requires more calories than the bird's weight, so they prepare by doubling their fat mass. They expend the entire caloric reserve during the flight. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rub…
Today I learned about the Three Emperors Dinner, which consisted of 16 courses with eight wines served over eight hours, and included Ortolan, which is a bird that is force feed and drowned in brandy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thr…
There is a distinct variety of mosquito that's evolved to live in the London Underground - unlike its above-ground counterpart, it doesn't hibernate and feeds mostly on human blood, rather than bird bbc.co.uk/earth/story/201…
A species of Australian Nocturnal Ground Parrots thought to be extinct for 100 years were found by one man after 15 years of searching. His search began when he found one feather of this bird on a truck and traced it back to the farm of an Old Indigenous Gentleman. audubon.org/news/yes-more…
Birds prefer to poop on red cars intobirds.com/bird-poop-m…
1,235 Canada geese were captured and gassed and 1,739 goose eggs were coated with oil in an attempt to prevent bird strikes following the events of US Airways Flight 1549 crashing into the Hudson theguardian.com/world/201…
Today I learned about the Ghost Fleet of the Potomac, 200 or so wrecks of abandoned ships, most from WWI. It has become a unique ecological system full of fish, birds, and other wildlife and opportunities for archeological discoveries. In 2019 it became a National Marine Sanctuary. savingplaces.org/places/g…
There are amazonian moths that drink the tears of sleeping birds. Tear drinking is not unusual for moths and butterflies because it's a source of salt, but this one is because salt is readily available due to annual flooding. And, you know, it's a bird. nationalgeographic.co.uk/…
Today I learned of the Sky Burial. Utilized in areas such Tibet and Mongolia, corpses are left on mountainsides to be eaten by carrion birds or otherwise decompose. Many who practice it view it as more practical than digging graves and as a way to give back to nature en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky…
The Three Stooges performed at the very first Super Bowl Halftime Show. During their performance, Larry Fine spotted a football player hitting on his wife. He flipped him the bird, and for this he got in trouble with CBS and had to pay a fine of $42.50. sandiegoreader.com/weblog…
The loudest bird in the world can reach 125dB and sounds like a fire alarm youtube.com/watch?v=dvK-D…
Parrots aren’t the only birds that can talk (imitate human speech). Mynah birds, Crows and Ravens have been known to do so as well audubon.org/news/why-do-p…
Some birds pawn their eggs off onto another breed’s nest in order to have the other bird rear their offspring nature.com/scitable/knowl…
JosΓ© Salvador Alvarenga, a Salvadoran fisherman was stranded at sea between 2012 and 2014. He survived mainly on a diet of raw fish, turtles, small birds, sharks and rainwater. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos…
Today I learned of Duncan Hamilton, a racing driver who was disqualified from Le Mans in 1953 due to a technicality. He went to a bar and got drunk, but was told he had been reinstated in the race shortly after. During the race he drank brandy on pitstops, hit a bird at 130mph that broke his nose, and then won. motorsportmagazine.com/ar…
Some birds of prey (like kestrels and hawks) can see bands of UV light that other animals cannot. Because mouse and rat urine reflects UV light, birds have been observed following trails of rodent pee like a glow in the dark path to their prey. jeb.biologists.org/conten…
Some birds form crΓ¨ches, a "daycare system" where baby birds separate from their parents and form a group supervised by a few adults, allowing their parents to go forage for food. smithsonianmag.com/smart-…
The passenger pigeon once had a population of 3-5 billion birds in North America. Hunters killed tens of thousands of them every day, then ignored calls to protect them when their numbers dwindled, until the last wild one was shot and stuffed in 1902, and the last captive one died in 1912. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pas…
A stork shot by a hunter in Germany in 1822 was found with a Central African spear piercing its throat, providing scientists with the first evidence for long-distance bird migration. countrylife.co.uk/nature/…
The Red-Billed Quelea is regarded as the most numerous undomesticated bird on earth, with the total post-breeding population sometimes peaking at an estimated 1.5 billion individuals. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red…
In the 1790s, an Oxford student introduced using guano (bird poop) as fertiliser. He spread guano across the university lawn, using it to spell G U A N O. The lawn was soon scrubbed, but when spring came, the word GUANO was clearly visible, growing higher and thicker than the rest of the grass npr.org/sections/krulwich…
Birds survive contact with power lines because of they way they are sitting, with both feet on the same wire. They are safe as long as they touch only a single wire, but as soon as they touch another wire, or a support pole at the same time, they will be electrocuted. oppdthewire.com/can-birds…
Ribeiroia, a flatworm, reproduces sexually inside of birds and its eggs end up in bird feces. The larvae hatch and infect snails, reproduce asexually inside them, then go after frog tadpoles causing cysts and extra limbs to grow, hindering their mobility and making them easy prey for birds. pnas.org/content/112/6/16…
Many species of birds can move both their mandible (lower jaw) and their maxillary bone (upper jaw) independently of one another. Parrots even have dedicated synovial joints to help facilitate the movement. digg.com/video/macaw-parr…
For birds, some fish, and other species the males have matching chromosomes (ZZ) and the females have dissimilar chromosomes (ZW). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZW_…
In the 20th century India lost more than 95% of its vulture population. The deaths are due to a medication for cows that is poisonous to the birds. The loss of vultures had increased the spread of disease and vermin populations. Also Parsi sky burials have had to be cancelled. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ind…
The different designations for groups of birds (Parliament of Owls, Murder of Crows...) largely came from a book from Middle Ages called The Book of Saint Albania. The designations are largely unused by scientist and birdwatchers, but are meant to describe the birds’ characters. audubon.org/news/no-its-n…
European Starlings are an incredibly invasive species, introduced to the US by Eugene Schieffelin. Convinced the country needed every bird in Shakespeare’s works, he had ~100 starlings released in NYC in 1890. They are now one of the most abundant birds in North America, numbering at ~200mil. sciencefriday.com/article…
This lyre bird mimics sounds of the forest, mainly birds singing, in order to attract females. He also mimics the sound of a chainsaw and camera shutters. youtu.be/mSB71jNq-yQ?df
Ostriches are the only birds that have bladders worldofowls.com/food-and-…
A particular breed of chicken, "Silkies", are so broody, they can (and will) hatch and raise the eggs of other species, even larger birds like geese or peacocks. vjppoultry.com/2017/06/19…
The platypus has 10 sex chromosomes instead of the usual 2 for mammals. Some of those sex chromosomes are the mammals' XX and XY chromosomes and others more closely resemble the ZZ and ZW chromosomes found in birds. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
The word for the non-feather remains left when an aircraft strikes a bird is 'snarge'. And that pilots who hit birds are supposed to collect it and send it to the Smithsonian Institution Feather Identification Lab as part of the reporting process. safety.af.mil/Portals/71/…
In 1974 the fictitious advertising mascot Captain Birdseye was killed off by the Birds Eye brand with an "obituary" in The Times. However the character was resurrected three years later to bolster the brand against rising prices resulting from the Cod Wars. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap…
A man died after he was attacked by a flock of seagulls after he disturbed a nest of chicks when he tried to clean bird droppings from the roof of his garage in Anglesey, north Wales. standard.co.uk/hp/front/p…
Aircraft manufacturers use specialized cannons to fire whole dead chickens at planes in order to simulate bird strikes en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi…
Today I learned of Gargantuavis, primitive flightless birds from the Late Cretaceous that were discovered in France and Spain. They grew to be about the size of cassowaries and lived alongside dinosaurs, including dromaeosaurid "raptors" and sauropods such as Ampelosaurus en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gar…
Crocodiles are the closest living relatives of the birds, sharing a common ancestor that lived around 240 million years ago and also gave rise to the dinosaurs. news.ucsc.edu/2014/12/cro…

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